June 9th, 2009
01:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Steele urges GOP to stress fiscal discipline

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/09/art.steele.0609.gi.jpg caption="epublican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans, while highlighting the party's ideology of fiscal discipline.

Steele made the request Tuesday to all 168 RNC members as well as the GOP congressional leadership in a memo obtained by CNN.

On the economy, Steele takes aim at Obama's decision to use federal dollars as a lifeline to help save the automotive and financial industries.

"Republicans should continue to demand answers from the Administration about when they plan on returning companies to the private sector and getting them off of the public dole," Steele writes in the memo.

The RNC chairman also chastises Obama and Democrats on their plan to overhaul the nation's health care system. He tells his fellow Republicans to "[a]dvocate for health care reform while opposing efforts by President Obama and Congressional Democrats to force Americans into a government-run health care system."

Steele advises the party to "continue to stand for fiscal responsibility."

This is one of the first times that Steele has looked to use his position as RNC chair to influence the policy direction of the party.

"Chairman Steele was serious when he said that Republicans will be unified in taking on President Obama and the Democrats for their big-government, overreaching policies that are moving our country in the wrong direction," a Steele advisor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells CNN.

Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele • President Obama
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. here we go

    Oh like the fiscal discipline that they showed when Bush was in office. I guess the billions that went for Iraq was ok, but what is needed for the american ppl is a waste of money.... Republican thy name is HYPOCRIT....

    June 9, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Redwhiteandblue

    Mr Steele:

    "Un conseil salutaire" to you. Just hush up.... even your Republicans aren't listening to you. When did you become relevant again. Even as a Republican, I would be ashamed of you. Tah!!Tah!!

    June 9, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Carrie

    This is such a joke...fiscal discipline, that might means something if the very people who are railing against government spending didn't blindly sign off on all of Bush's spending increases, at least Obama is putting the price tag up front – not like Bush who separated money for Iraq from the budget. I love how the GOP is trying to rewrite history calling Reagan a true conservative...he grew the deficit just like every other President, (with the exception of Clinton, a DEMOCRAT I might add) The revisionist historians around here make me laugh, besides the fact that Reagan is gone now, and most people who do not/did not worship him can barely remember him, save for jelly beans, not recalling anything that happened, and star wars...I am all for a 2 party system, but the GOP needs to change course drastically, and start looking within themselves to come up with a message that doesn't A.) make them look like hypocrites and B.) doesn't throw the same old ideology at us...and I support the GOP's right to speak their mind, Obama has been in office 6 months, most people gave Bush a lot longer than that before we called him the worse President in history, honestly saying things like that 6 months into his first term, just takes away any credibility from the person saying it...

    June 9, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. jack

    Mr. Steele is a joke. The man represents the group that drove this country into the ground. Now they believe that only they can save us. Anything a Democrat offers as an idea is soundly rejected only because it is an idea from a Democrat, no matter how brilliant the idea. It didn't come from one of their own so it has to be bad.
    This type thinking can not be allowed any more in government.
    The best idea would be to dissolve both political parties and have candidates run on ideas and platforms. This way we get rid of the paralysis of "Red" or "Blue" thinking and get back to focus on the ideas that will place America back into the fore front of moral leadership in the world.

    June 9, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Dave

    Keep whining, Steele. You and the rest of the brain-dead GOP get more irrelevant with every passing day. It's pathetic how the Republicans ran our economy into the ground with their spending and incompetence, yet when the Democrats spend money to fix these messes, the GOP screams from the rooftops. All of a sudden, the GOP has found fiscal discipline. Their righteous indignation is completely transparent and people are seeing right through it.

    June 9, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Jane

    Mr Steele – What if your party actually came up with alternative suggestions (not just the old cut taxes argument) to fix the issues America faces instead of just questioning & saying No. Might work better than "No" with the other 79% of the country had do not identify themselves as Republican.

    Just a thought – you'd get disagreement from Rush though.

    June 9, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. yuri

    How about some verbal discipline from some of the fat cats, callous conservatives, and from those non-sensical neocon nincompoops, hailing from a rowdy GOP gang?

    June 9, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. MsDp

    The Republician Idealogy: There was a time, even in America, when doctors became doctors because of their passion for human wellness and human care instead of their passion for big dollars for profits. I believe there are many, many other professions that would allow an open market system/industry to be relevant, i.e., financial industries, technology industries, and many more; however, healthcare should not exist in our country merely to create profits. Doctors should not be a part of our healthcare industry merely for profits. There should be a passion or love so intense for the human life that this passion, and it alone should propels anyone who enters into a health care profession. If we can convince our GOP brothers and sister to no longer view our healthcare industry as part of the open. Market industry, if we can convince our GOP brothers and sisters to have a new prospective on healthcare and not health-profits, maybe we will discover how to recruit persons who have that passion for human life again; maybe be we will discover how to recruit a nation who have that passion for human life too.

    You Too STEELEā€¦.

    June 9, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Ken

    Yes!! Fiscal Responsibility – but only when the expenditure would help the people of this country.

    When it comes to military expenditures – the sky is the limit!

    June 9, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Chris

    When the Republicans were partly in charge of both areas of the government, fiscal responsibility was a joke. Everyone was happy with all the false prosperity that was going on in financial system, that is until the bottom fell out last year. Now they want to tighten the belt, but the problem here is they don't get it. Because until the people of America are back on strong footing financially and incomes are up and folks are able to buy and spend more due to higher wages, they are not going to give a hoot about what the government is spending that is UNTIL TAXES go up because of the government spending. So, the GOP can go sit down or get on board with the program because people do not give a crap about what the future holds. We are living in a NOW society and if the President is spending and it helps put money in someone pocket so be it. If a job is created due to the spending by the President so be it. If the kids of the future is strapped with high debt because the last eight years got us in this MESS so be it. But they need to stop the crap they are trying to lay on the President who is trying to help the Country get back on its feet. So the Republican need to get over it and get on board!!!

    June 9, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Jim in San Jose

    Do as I say, not as I do has never been a leadership position.

    June 9, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Dean

    "continue to stand for fiscal responsibility." thats a joke...look back over the last 8 years Mr Steele If congress had any Nads they would vote to take a 50 % paycut just to show us that they care.

    June 9, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Kevin B.

    Mr Steele and GOP do not get it, the republican party has thrown up so much vitriol and nastiness since thier defeat last november that most americans view them as a freak show.

    It doesn't matter what the new GOP slogans are, the stakes are too high to go back to the GOP philosophy fear and lawlessness

    June 9, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    EIGHT years too late, Michael!

    June 9, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Charlie

    Fiscal responsibility? What short memories these Republicans have.

    June 9, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Matt

    Fiscal discipline, because an 80 billion dollar a month war based on a lie was a good conservative economic policy?

    June 9, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. Terry

    I don't see the auto companies begging the Obama administration to return them to the private sector and off the "public dole", which would cause certain death for them. Neither do I see the banks, financial institutions, etc., pleading for the administration to stop forcing them to take bailout money.

    The Republican party is in a collective delusion. Michael Steele resides in la la land. Too bad the media treats them seriously and gives them a platform for their nonsensical rants.

    June 9, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. James

    Congress controls spending. The democrats have controlled Congress since 2006, when spending got out of control.

    The Republicans need to educate America on this.

    The democrats have no business running the country, as can be seen by Obama's reckless and irresponsible spending.

    We can still save this country, vote out the dems in 2010!!

    June 9, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. New Day

    hehehehe fiscal discipline? I want energy independence and cheaper insurance. after that, feel free to be as tight-belted as you please... ...starting with ending the wars

    June 9, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Angie in Pa

    What Now they Have FISCAL DISCIPLINE But wait what about the Last 8 years and Bush with his out of control spending and when Republicans held congress they rubberstamped everything for Bush and now they want to cry about President Obama why because hes a Democrat PLUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZE!

    June 9, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Mike, Vancouver

    As an observer in Canada, it appears that the Republicans don't have any plans to do the American peoples' bidding. The only thing I see is their only desire is to get back into power and continue to rape the country of it's wealth and put it into their pockets and foreign banks.

    No wonder people cannot get a leg up under the Republicans. It follows a repeating pattern over decades.

    Republicans rape and pillage,
    Democrats repair the economy and uplift people,
    Republicans rape and pillage,
    Democrats repair and ................

    June 9, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. Alex in Wisconsin

    Word to the GOP

    Stop questioning the president and start answering the problems of the country.

    June 9, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Steve/Boston

    Democrats and intelligent people should demand to know from Republicans how it is that we are in a war of choice that has left us with thousands of our young men and women dead or maimed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi innocents dead, trillions of dollars of debt, and contractors who made tons of money....lining the pockets of Dick Cheney and George Bush et al.

    The conservapubs need a reality check, and the dems need to stand up and hit back at the lies and half-truths of the party of no not know.

    June 9, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. playlist

    Well as least CNN didn't use "rip" "blast" when it is yet another Rethug criticizing our great President while having no plan or idea of their own...same old repeat strategy "do as I say not as I do" that has gotten us into this mess..big spenders on defense and tax cuts for ultra rich and companies sending jobs oberseas... no money for roads infrastructure, middleclass, hardworking americans

    GOP= Got 0 plans......same failed policies

    June 9, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. WP

    I have to agree with John, I consider myself very conservative, but neither a Republican or Democrat (which both seem to be more socialist than anything)
    I would love to believe that there are teeth behind Michael Steel's call for fiscal responsibility, but given the actions of the free spending Democrats AND the free spending Republicans, I will believe it when I see it.
    There is a sad addiction to spending other peoples money in both parties.

    June 9, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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